Do you have the courage to show up?

You probably have it down to a T.

You arrive to work on time, get your tasks done, maybe you shut down around 5 p.m. and go home.

Mission accomplished.

Do you believe that's your job? To show up on time, take notes with a smile on your face and do the work that's assigned? 

I don't.

Bear with me and I'll explain.

I recently stumbled upon this quote by Woody Allen:

"80% of success is showing up." 

I think what Woody Allen meant is to achieve success, you have to take the first step, to just start, maybe even before you're ready. If you are sitting around planning and worrying about execution without actually executing your idea, you are never going to realize your vision. So.... when we actually show up to do something we've thought about, we're 80% there.

I like Woody's take on showing up. It's hugely powerful. 

But I think that's just the tip of the iceberg because showing up has reached a whole new level of meaning. Showing up today means doing things that make a positive difference in this world.

From my experience the very best place to start making that positive difference in the world is with ourselves.

It's making self-care a priority, it's putting our oxygen mask on before assisting others. Only then can we see and think more clearly. Only then, can we respond with compassion and empathy. 

And we have to show up. 


Because we live in an incredible era of possibility and change. Traditional rules don't apply anymore. We're witnessing a huge power shift from the organization to the individual.

We have a voice, we have a digital platform and a seat at the big table.  Because of this shift, there's never been a greater time to do things that matter. 

Not long ago, I walked away from a steady job that offered my family and I security and comfort to reinvent my life and better serve others. Along the way, I've learned some things that have radically changed my perspective on showing up. 

Here's what I think it means:

Showing up isn't.......

Turning up to work everyday and failing to speak up or raise your hand.  Trying to accommodate and make everybody happy.  Spending all your time doing things, completing tasks just to get them off your to-do list. Tuning out from the present moment and allowing your thoughts and emotions to control you. Executing on a vision and agenda that you don't believe. Becoming paralyzed by a disillusioned belief that you have no choice. Convincing yourself you have to stay put for fear that you might rock the boat. 

Showing up is......

Expanding your limits and challenging yourself to push past your comfort zone. It's standing up for what's right. It's setting a good example to your colleagues, your friends and your family. It's tuning into the present moment. It's taking a deep breath before responding in a stressful situation. It's following through with a promise you make to another person. It's holding up your hand when you don't understand something. It's deeply listening to another person and giving them the gift of your undivided attention. It's allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It's admitting you're not perfect. It's putting yourself in someone else's shoes and acknowledging that they may be fighting a battle you know nothing about. It's about being yourself and having the ability to laugh at yourself.

The catch....

To show up, sometimes we have to be willing to make sacrifices. To get comfortable with things that are uncomfortable. To be more open to making mistakes. To welcome adversity and not run from it.

Or as Seth Godin says:

"We have to dance with fear." 


It's harder to show up.

It can be lonely.

It can be scary.

And it comes with uncertainty.

BUT.... what if we knew that there was a higher purpose waiting for us, that in choosing to show up, we might create a positive ripple effect that impacted our organization or those around us? That could make a tangible difference to our happiness and success.

I think it's worth the effort and uncertainty.

What do you think?

Best wishes for a great week. Please share any comments, thoughts and ideas in the comments box below.

(Image Copyright: Dragon Images/Shutterstock)